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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nutrition Notebook #7

Despite appearances to the contrary, I do have a life outside of my new kitten....

I almost think these entries related to my altered menu should be retitled "High Maintenance and Loving It!" but I think that would open me up to too many smart remarks :)

I've been eating gluten-free for a year now, and have been on a somewhat rigorous, low-cholesterol diet that avoids red meat (all meat, really), sugars, dairy (especially cheese), minimal caffeine since mid-November. Bottom line: tons and tons of vegetables, fruit, salads, brown rice, beans, fish.... all food I'm enjoying immensely.

I haven't been back to my nutritionist for two months, but am continuing faithfully on the plan. I've maintained some weight loss (not tons, sadly, but have held at 8 pounds), and more importantly, feel FANTASTIC. I won't go into details, but everything is working inside and out!

I may wait till my annual physical in late summer to measure my cholesterol, but if you've followed on the blog you'll know my cholesterol dropped 25 points after only 1 month of this approach. I'll be intrigued to see where it is later this year.

Here are my "how I survive" pointers:
  • Amy's Kitchen frozen meals when I don't have time to cook. Newest favorite by a mile: The Rice Mac & Cheese. Oh glory! Better than the Trader Joe's box mix. Really cheesy. So yeah, perhaps I am fudging on the "no dairy, especially cheese" part.
  • Once a month I allow myself a gluten-free dessert... and Simply Pies in Santa Barbara has gluten-free options that are pure food from heaven. The Mixed Berry makes me tear up. Absolutely no sacrifice felt. This is utterly satisfying.
  • Lara Bars. Hello. My every day best friend. If I'm out and about, and starting to get hungry, I always make sure I have these with me. I do not leave the house ever without one of these in my backpack or purse. Current favorite: Cashew Cookie. Though the new Peanut Butter & Jelly may give a run for its money. Whole Foods Market has the best selection.
  • Nuts nuts nuts. Yes, I'm nuts over my kitten, but that's not what I'm talking about. I measure out 3 oz of nuts each day, start nibbling on them about 11am every morning, and keep them nearby. I dip in again mid-afternoon. This helps with protein on salads too. I make a mix of sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, pistachio nut meats and pecan pieces.
  • Pop chips with hummus.
  • Scrambled eggs every third day for breakfast. I LOVE THEM with sauteed onion, garlic, and whatever green things are in my fridge - kale, leeks, dandelion greens, chard have all made the cut. Wrap them in corn tortillas. Talk to me!
  • San-J Organic Tamari Sauce. I could not eat all these vegetables without stir fry (one can only eat so much Indian food, though I eat a lot of it), and being gluten-free, this stuff makes teriyaki and such possible. I have a go-to teriyaki sauce for mahi mahi that should be sold in a restaurant it's so good.
  • When I travel (at least once a month), the trickiest meal is usually breakfast, believe it or not. Hotel continental breakfast is almost always bread bread bread with a token boiled egg or sorry piece of fruit. So I bring a bag of Trader Joe's gluten-free granola with me on every trip. Lifesaver. Great on Greek yogurt too (non-fat, since low cholesterol is key).
I've really cut down on how much I eat out. I've fallen in love with cooking. I snack more on several of the above items when I can't make a meal. All is well.

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